Plans to close Lochaber schools 'flawed'

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Colouring pencils
Image caption,
Under the plans pupils attending the schools are to be taught on new sites

The Scottish government has called in proposals to close schools in Lochaber because it said the public consultations on the plans were flawed.

Fort William and Achintore primaries are to shut and the schools merged in a new building.

Catholic schools in Fort William and Lochyside are also to close and amalgamated on a site they would share with non-religious Caol primary.

Highland Council's plans have been called in for further consideration.

Education Secretary Michael Russell said it was his job to ensure a "robust consultation process" was properly followed.

He said: "On the proposal to merge Fort William and Achintore primaries, it was clear to me that the council's consultation papers lacked sufficient details on the proposed new school."

Mr Russell said HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) also highlighted that the lack of detail made it difficult to assess the educational benefits of the proposal.

He added: "On the proposal to bring the Caol, Lochyside RC and Fort William RC primaries onto a joint campus, a number of local people have raised concerns over the consultation process, some of which have been backed up by HMIe.

"I also consider that the council's consultation papers lacked sufficient details."

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